Canada to allow family members of foreign workers to obtain work visas

 Canada to allow family members of foreign workers to obtain work visas

To address a critical labor shortage and support family reunification, Canada will for the first time allow spouses of temporary foreign workers and their working-age children to work legally in Canada.

According to Sean Fraser, Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the program will be rolled out in three phases beginning in January and will last for two years.

"Everywhere I go, employers across the country still cite a lack of labor as their biggest obstacle," Fraser said earlier this month when announcing the project.

"Today's announcement will help employers find the jobs they need . more than 200,000 dependents of foreign workers to work in Canada by extending work permits to dependents of all skill levels,” he said. "Our government will continue to help employers overcome labor shortages, while also supporting workers' well-being and reuniting their families."

As Canada's economy quickly recovers from the new crown epidemic, Canada has begun to look overseas to fill the gaps of domestic workers. insufficient. CTV television network reported: “Canada has more than 1 million unfilled jobs as of the second quarter of 2022, the highest quarterly record.”

Statistics Canada (Statscan) said: “Canada is increasingly dependent on temporary foreign workers to Fill labor shortages.” The government statistics agency noted that foreign work permits issued in the first 10 months of this year quadrupled compared to the same period in 2021.

The first phase of the new program begins with families of "high-wage stream" foreign workers coming to Canada. "High-wage streams" are those who earn above the median hourly wage for that occupation in the area in which they will be working.

The second stage will apply to dependents of "low-wage stream" foreign workers. These "low-wage stream" workers earn less than the relevant median hourly wages. Phase 3 will apply to agricultural jobs, and the Government of Canada says implementation of Phase 3 will depend on negotiations with "agricultural partners and stakeholders."

The Canadian government has not announced a specific date for the start of any phase.

Keeping families together

A Canadian government press release announcing the program says the measure “is designed to improve workers’ psychological well-being, physical health and financial stability by keeping families together. As a result, workers are expected to be better integrated into their overall working environment and community.”

However, according to Danilo de Leon, president of Migrante Canada, a coalition of Filipino immigrant organizations across Canada, this approach is not thorough and Not so satisfying.

De Leon, 51, works as a delivery driver in Canada on a temporary foreign worker visa. "It's still a temporary status for workers and their families," he told VOA, adding: "It doesn't address workers' abuse in the workplace. To me, it's The long-term needs of immigrant workers are not being addressed, one of which is permanent resident status."

Worries about Hierarchy

Idil Atak, a professor at Toronto Metropolitan University who focuses on refugees, welcomed some aspects of the program, but she questioned how it was rolled out.

"This is good news because family reunification is a fundamental right that Canada has denied to low-wage foreign workers for some time," Atack told VOA.

"However, behind the phased approach The reason for this — that the right to family life was given last to this group of casual agricultural laborers — is beyond me. This approach creates a hierarchy in terms of who is more deserving, according to the type of work. Family reunification The principle should be that all workers should be treated equally without any discrimination.”

Immigration expert Al Parsai offered two suggestions for families of foreign workers who want to take advantage of the new policy.

"Please take the right steps to qualify," he said in an interview. “This unique opportunity could end in two years.”

Second, he said: “Beware of misinformation. You can always double-check the information you get on the website or consult a licensed professional.”

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